Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Tag clouds - identify your core messages

Tag clouds have been used for a while in blogs and article publications on the internet. They provide a means for any casual passer-by to gather, at a glance, what an article or blog is focussing on. Usually they are made up of the keywords the writer has used to categorise and reference their articles, but often are an indication of the most recurring words in a site. In a tag cloud the most frequently used tags are shown biggest, reducing in size as the frequency diminishes.

Some tag clouds are interactive, so you can click on the tag and be taken to relevant articles, others are merely informational, visual indicators.

Now there is a (fun?!) tool for any blog, article, or indeed, any section of text - www.wordle.net.

You can use it to either trawl your entire blog, or paste an article into the "wordleizer" and let it (after removing all common words such as and, the, in etc) give you a tag cloud where the most repeated words are presented in a stylised fashion.

It's bit of fun, but is useful to see which key words come up most often in a particular block of copy and a great visual check to see if the core messages and aims of your writing are coming through.

Here's one I did for a recent post on Social media opportunities for Businesses:

And the really nice thing about it is that it is free to use, since it is licenced under the Creative Commons initiative

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